Viewers of the BBC soap opera EastEnders tuned in last night (May 17) to watch Barbara Windsor’s last performance as pub land lady Peggy Mitchell.
The fictional character, who was rediagnosed with breast cancer at the start of the year, committed suicide in her final scene by overdosing on pills.
Peggy Mitchell was an iconic cast member and much loved by fans. She was particularly famous for her outbursts with tough customers telling them to “Get out of my pub.”
In her final scene, she was accompanied by an old castmate long term frenemy Pat Butcher, played by Pam St. Clements, who was killed off the show with cancer in 2012.
Pat Butcher made an appearance on the show as a figment of Peggy’s imagination to help her get through her final hours.
The Shoreditch-born actress appeared in many “Carry on” films during the 1950s before joining the cast of EastEnders in 1994. Her 22-year reign as the “Queen of Walford” touched the hearts of many. Some fans took to social media to mourn the loss of their favourite character:
— Tom Gardiner (@TomGardinerUK) May 17, 2016
The official EastEnders twitter page also tweeted to bid farewell to the star:
True friends never leave you.
— BBC EastEnders (@bbceastenders) May 17, 2016
Macmillan cancer trust also jumped on the opportunity to aware people of cancer:
— MacmillanCancerInfo (@mac_cancerinfo) May 17, 2016
Windsor’s onscreen family also took the opportunity to share their sorrow of losing a cast member:
— Steve McFadden (@Steve__Mcfadden) May 17, 2016
In an interview with the BBC One Show before the soap aired, Windsor spoke fondly of playing the role of Peggy Mitchell. She said: “Well she was just right for me, just because I knew this woman…She’s the kind of woman that, she can be very sweet and very nice but very tough.”